Charles Chrysostom Buckman, one of the most remarkable men
of the county, is the son of William Dunbar and Ann (Merriman) Buckman. William
was a farmer, born in St. Mary, Maryland, in 1790, married in Washington
County, Kentucky, in 1814, and, in 1850, nine years after the death of his
wife, came to Kentucky, and died at the home of his son-in-law in 1863. Ann,
his wife, was born in Nelson County in 1795 and died there in 1841. Subject's
paternal grandparents were Charles and Jennie (Dunbar) Buckman, of Maryland.
Subject was born in Nelson County in 1815, and has been
married three times; first, in 1836, to Miss Marguerite Gwynn; next, in 1842,
to Miss Ann C. Cruze; and last, in 1846, to Elizabeth Cissell, his present
wife. Mrs. Buckman, born in Washington County, Ky., in 1825, is the daughter of
James and Sarah (Parsons) Cissell, of Maryland. her paternal grandparents were
Frank and Catherine (Payne) Cissell, of Maryland, and her maternal grandparents
were Benjamin and Polly Parsons. Subject's married children are as follows:
Sarah J. married Philip Greenwell, a miller at Waverly, and has two children.
Marguerite B. married Nicholas Alvey, a physician, now living in Missouri. Mary
C. married James Neel (Neal? can't read the 3rd letter
too well), a farmer in Morganfield Precinct, and has six children. Annie
E. married George Bolds (deceased) and has two children, Julia A. married
Earnest McDaniel, a farmer in Raleigh, and has one child. William J. married
Annie Utley, living in Henderson County, and has eight children. The children
at home are Benjamin L., Charlie C., Robert S. and John L., all enterprising,
nice young men.
Mr. Buckman used to belong to the Whig party, but left and
joined the Democrats on account of the high tariff. Subject has been Surveyor
for Union County for quite a number of years. He first served as deputy under
Joe Williams, from 1849 to 1851, then deputy under James T. Pierson until 1854,
when he was elected and served until 1860. Mr. Buckman then resigned, thinking
he had held the office long enough. Still the people, in 1864, re-elected him,
and continued to do so until 1878, and he is now doing, at the age of
seventy-one years, more surveying than the elected officers. Mr. Buckman has
surveyed every tract of land in the county, and where he has not been for
twenty years, his memory is so remarkable, that he can tell you exactly how and
where to find any corner.
Many are the incidents related of this truly wonderful man
and his extraordinary memory. We make room for a few of them that will serve as
specimens. In 1877 he was called upon to find the corner where the lots of
Perrine, Hamner and Hall & Owen joined. It had been many years since he had
surveyed it, and the entire face of the country was changed, a road having been
run near the corner and the timber having all been chopped off. Mr. Buckman
kept sighting around by the surrounding hills, but Mr. Owen became impatient,
and finally said: "Uncle Charley, that corner is thirty feet this way from
where you stand." The impertubable old surveyor still remained close to
the place he had first selected, and, after some time, he struck the staff he
held in his hand into the ground and said: "Gentlemen, that corner is within
six inches of this staff. It is the iron axle of a spring wagon and has been
covered up." He began digging, and within two inches of the staff the
axle was found and the corner established.
Once, when he was hunting a line he had surveyed years
before, one of the young men in the party found a large tree marked like it
might be a line tree, and he said: "Uncle Charles, here is a line tree." The
old gentleman said: "No, that is on a side line. I made that mark to show
something near where the line is, but it actually runs several feet away from
that tree." Nobody pretended to doubt or dispute his word, and a moment after
another young man said: "There is a large tree back on the line; let us go and
see if it is not a line tree." "No," was the slow but unerring reply, "that
tree grew since I made the line."
Once a corner tree was dug up and thrown into a creek that
ran close at hand. Mr. Buckman was called upon to establish this corner, and he
reached the place where the tree ought to have been. He said: "Here is the
corner, but the tree has been dug up." He then told what kind of a tree it was
and sent for a spade. Digging down he unearthed the roots, and then said: "That
tree is somewhere down the creek." A search in the drift piles resulted in the
discovery of the tree with the marks he had described upon it.
His almost superhuman memory, added to his unquestioned
integrity, have secured for him such implicit confidence that when a line or
corner is in dispute the disputants will quickly agree to leave it to Uncle
Charley, if it is known that he ever run the line or fixed the corner. He's
thus and so is the ultimatum, and no one ever pretends to gainsay his decision.
Thus he has become a pacificator, whose value will not be fully realized until
death removes him, which event God forbid for many years yet.
Among the distinguished men who have been born upon Union
County soil is James H. Bowden, who is one of the Judges of the Superior Court.
He is the son of John and Lova A. (Farquier) Bowden. He was born March 15,
1833, and has reached his present position without much educational advantage.
His common school education consisted in about four years' training altogether.
The teachers he remembers are Myrom W. Safford, of Morganfield; John C. Duke,
of Washington County; and Joseph Pillsbury, at Bowling Green. He began reading
for the bar quite young, and was admitted to practice in October, 1855.
He married Nannie Morton at Russellville, Ky., on March 14,
1857. She is the daughter of Marmaduke B. and Elizabeth (Caldwell) Morton. He
has six children: Kate, married Henry M. Caldwell, of Russellville, and is the
mother of one child. The children at home are Marmaduke, Fannie Morton, Lizzie
Farquier, Mary Lova, and Henry William. Our subject has held the office of
Commissioner of Common Schools. He was also Representative in 1875-6, after
which he was elected to the Superior Judgeship. He has traveled extensively in
the United States, Canada and Europe. He has been a member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church South since 1852. He is also a member of Russellville Lodge
and Chapter of F. A. M. Judge Bowden is a man who has advanced to responsible
and trying positions from humble beginnings, and who enjoys the esteem and
confidence of the people in his region of country to an unusual degree. His
popularity, in Union County especially, has always been great, and he cannot be
easily ousted from the place he occupies in the affections of the people.